I hate to say I told you so, but… I told you so. When the Honduran caravan arrived at the southern border of Mexico and its leaders were informed that they would need to wait there while their requests were processed, what did they do? They overwhelmed the border security forces and crossed the river illegally.
Since that time I’ve continued to point out that there was no reason to believe they wouldn’t try the same thing if they were held up at the US border. And yesterday that’s precisely what they did. The first hint I saw of it came from one reporter on the Mexican side of the border who reported that the crossing point had been shut down.
The San Ysidro port of entry is now closed, according to a loudspeaker announcement. Barricades in place to block entry under the Chaparral footbridge and Mexican immigration officials blocking the parking lot. pic.twitter.com/Zqwj4uRbSz
— Maya Averbuch (@mayaaverbuch) November 25, 2018
Shortly after that, the news went national, with reports that hundreds of migrants were attempting to swarm the crossing point. The Mexican authorities were doing their best to stop them, however, and US border security forces deployed tear gas. (WaPo)
Migrants approaching the U.S. border from Mexico were enveloped with tear gas Sunday after a few tried to breach the fence separating the two countries.
U.S. agents shot the gas, according to an Associated Press reporter on the scene. Children were screaming and coughing in the mayhem.
Honduran migrant Ana Zuniga, 23, said she saw migrants open a small hole in concertina wire at a gap on the Mexican side of a levee, at which point U.S. agents fired tear gas at them.
The surge was eventually repelled and if any migrants made it through illegally, most of the reporters on the scene seem to agree that it was only a few. So in that sense, the system worked. Most impressively, the Mexican government stepped up to stop the surge rather than waiting for us to do it. They later announced that the people they apprehended attempting to force their way across would be deported to their home countries.
UPDATE: (Jazz) CNN is reporting that 42 migrants were arrested on the US side of the border. That’s still a rather small portion of the entire mob, however, so the defensive efforts were still largely successful.
Here’s one of the more bizarre sidebars from this story. Everyone was weighing in with their own opinions as usual, but on the Democratic side, Congressman Elijah Cummings had one of the strangest (if not hottest) takes. Appearing on Meet the Press, he proclaimed that migrants had to be allowed to cross the border to seek asylum without waiting for permission because “that’s the law.” (Washington Times)
Rep. Elijah Cummings, ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, said Sunday that caravan migrants seeking asylum should be able to enter the country immediately, challenging President Trump’s efforts to keep them in Mexico while their cases are processed.
“That’s not the law. They should be allowed to come in, seek asylum. That’s the law,” Mr. Cummings said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Asked if he would support changing the law, the Maryland Democrat said, “No.”
Pardon me for being so blunt as to point it out, but that’s not what the law says at all. What Representative Cummings was probably trying to allude to was the wording found in Title 8 Chapter 12 which says, “Any alien who is physically present in the United States or who arrives in the United States (whether or not at a designated port of arrival and including an alien who is brought to the United States after having been interdicted in international or United States waters), irrespective of such alien’s status, may apply for asylum…”
All that says is that if the alien in question is already physically in the United States, irrespective of whether or not they entered legally, they are allowed to apply for asylum. (That doesn’t mean it will be granted, but they can apply.) But it says absolutely nothing about it suddenly being okay for them to illegally cross the border. That’s still a crime and we are entitled and obligated to stop such illegal crossings wherever and whenever we can.
Cummings is a senior member of the legislative branch of our federal government. That means he’s one of the people responsible for writing our laws. Shouldn’t he know better than this?
The original article was updated to relfect the number of migrants who were arrested after illegally crossing.